The Glowing Ring of Burton

The Gary Burton Quintet (w/ Eberhard Weber)Ring. ECM 1042; 1974.

American vibes-man Gary Burton crafted an angular/autumny set of sound sketches on Ring, backed by German double-bassist Eberhard Weber and six-string wunderkind Pat Metheny. The opening “Melevia” weaves the glowing, luminous tones of Burton’s vibraphone with Metheny’s light, legato fretwork, fusing a pastel sonic impressionism. Elsewhere, the jagged meters and punctual rhythms of “Unfinished Symphony” unveils a fiery contrast between Weber’s ostinatos and the Burton/Metheny filigree. Drummer Bob Moses shines on the short and twisted “Intrude”, alternating cymbal spray with martial figures, replete with the double-tracked, oddly sinister interjections of Metheny. Highlighting this set is the vibes-lifted rendition of Weber’s signature piece, “The Colours of Chloë”, where the whole ensemble rises amidst sweeping tempos and shifting high-chords, careening to the ultimate climax.

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